Sunday, September 8, 2013

Avoiding Mishaps

I haven't blogged in a while. After getting back from Europe (and while I was in Europe), things got so crazy! We finished off our wonderful time in London and headed to York and then finished the time of our trip in Scotland. I loved all of these places, despite some unfortunate memories from some of them (namely the incident involving Aberdeen and Inverness). Let's review the study abroad as a whole and some of the best things I learned on it and some of the things that I enjoyed.

1. I learned that I'm actually pretty good at doing logistical things for groups. I was pretty much in charge of everything logistical about the trip. I tried my hardest to make it a good experience for the students. There were a few hiccups in the road, but overall, I think I did really well.

2. I loved hearing the different dialects and learning more about the linguistic aspect of the UK. It was really interesting to see how much variation can exist in such small geographic space.

3. I loved seeing all kinds of sacred space. I didn't ever really get over "Cathedral-ed" as some people tended to do. I love seeing the sacred space, and I also love experiencing sacred activities in sacred space (Evensong). I think that these experiences prepared me to return home and reignite my desire to be closer to God again. I felt like for the past year I had gotten a bit "stagnant" in my spiritual progression. After visiting Europe, I think part of my desire to be closer to God again came from seeing all kinds of sacred space.

4. I met some amazing people. I was so grateful to have met some great girls who are so fun to be around! Matthew, the only other guy in the study abroad, and I got very close. He is a great guy and it is such a blessing and privilege to have met him. I didn't anticipate to go on the study abroad and to meet some of my closest friends!
Some of the best people I know! 

These two are also some of the best people I know! They just couldn't make it to the temple on the day we went!

5. I learned that decisions that we make can have a huge impact on our lives. I'll get to this one in a minute.

Spain was also incredible. People weren't as friendly as I had hoped, but we saw some amazing sites. I loved the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world! The inside is like a forest. No paintings, only light and natural shapes! There's too much to talk about in one blog post. But enjoy this picture.

I think another thing that I really learned is that our decisions have impacts. Before the beginning of the semester I had intended to do Writing Fellows for ESL students. While I was in London (I believe?), they told me that they would no longer have ESL fellows. I considered doing the non-ESL fellows, but something about it felt wrong and I dropped the class and the program. And it felt relieving. I was disappointed, but I felt like I needed to not do it. Since then, I was invited to take a graduate-level TESOL class, and I have been assigned to teach the foundations prep vocabulary class. It feels right. I am glad that Our Heavenly Parents steered me in the right direction.

Furthermore,  since the beginning of the semester, things have felt off. I moved into my apartment and it felt wrong. I didn't feel like it was where I was supposed to be. I tried to get myself to feel like it was right, but it hasn't felt right the entire time. To make a long story short, I have decided to move, and things seem to be falling into place. I really hope that it continues to fall into place. I am really hoping for a good semester.

I am grateful for the love of our Heavenly Parents. I am grateful that They have a plan for me. God really does care so much! Here's to a semester of avoiding mishaps (or potential ones).